Strength & Mindset {Nidhi Kulkarni}

Before Nidhi Kulkarni co-founded Spitfire, she did what many of us do after graduating college – she found a good, safe job where she worked hard and burned a lot of midnight oil. But she soon realized she was only pushing herself to avoid the fact that she felt lost and creatively unfulfilled. When the chance came to take a creative side project to the next level, she took it and launched Spitfire Athlete, a strength training and weightlifting app of thousands of users that helps women build physical and mental strength. Nidhi and her co-founder have created a community of women that focuses on reconnecting with your body and building a confident mindset. What’s just as special is that they did it their own way, going against the “founder myth” that tells us we have to raise a buttload of money from VCs (most of whom are men). For you good girls with a passionate creative side project wondering whether to take the leap, Nidhi offers some wonderful advice. Show Notes: -Nidhi growing up: On being quiet and introverted, her love for sports, and testing her own limits. [3:38] -The teacher who helped change her trajectory and what it was like being the only girl in her programming class. [8:05] -Nidhi reflects on the reasons for holding herself back in the past, and why she forces herself to do things she’s afraid of. [12:46] -On practice, intimidation, and the rigors of studying computer science at MIT. [16:38] -Dealing with stress, the importance of rowing (exercise), plus -Nidhi’s brief encounter with “imposter syndrome”. [22:02] -After college: Nidhi talks about feeling lost for a while, working a lot, and the encounter that forced her to decide between taking a chance and playing it safe. [27:46] Starting Spitfire Athlete and a new phase of life. [34:12] -From a super high to a frustrating low: Nidhi shares why buying into the “founder myth” and following a prescribed set of steps didn’t work for them (and what they did instead). [38:03] -The vision behind Spitfire Athlete: Taking a unique and vital approach to women’s fitness by growing strength and confidence. [43:23] -Nidhi shares an incredibly moving success story from one of their users. [49:17] “Nothing compares to doing something that is fully your own.” -Nidhi’s advice to women with side projects they want to move forward. [51:04] References: Spitfire Athlete at Spitfire Athlete is a fitness app that helps women build their strength and power through structured training programs. The app features bodyweight and weight training programs for a variety of goals and sports from rock climbing to triathlons to powerlifting. The app has helped women around the world lift more than their bodyweight, learn how to do their first pull-up, and train to overcome anorexia. Training with Spitfire Athlete is about cultivating the athlete’s mentality — it’s not about what you look like, it’s about what you can do. The warrior’s mentality of strength, mental toughness, grit and dedication. Download their app: Music by Lucia Lilikoi at This episode's sponsors: UENO (, InVision (

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